How do you do it? Help me stop yelling at my kids. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 38 Old 08-03-2009, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not proud of this, but I am screaming at my kids and I'm not even sure why. It seems like this happens every now and then, I get in this place where I have zero patience and I snap at them, forgetting that they are kids and they are doing what kids do.
I need some more coping techniques to get me through the day. What do you do or what do you say to yourself in the moment, when they are driving you crazy, to get through it without, you know, causing them to need therapy later in life?
How do you increase your patience level? I mean, I exercise, I have time away from them, I have a great husband who helps a lot when he is not at work, but short of doing vodka shots, how do you get through the day?
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#2 of 38 Old 08-03-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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I am glad I am not alone. Though I know, for me, it is depression without meds (yes, I know, I need to go, but money is a major issue). I am trying very hard not to yell, but sadly the way my husband talks to them, makes it hard to try to not have to yell (He was raised in an abusive environment, and so he never learned how to treat children...we are working on that!)

I m hoping that I can stop. I see what it is doing, and I don't want to live that way!!!


I hope you can find a way...maybe find a local moms group and get out once a week? I know when I even take a trip to the store sans kids, it is a little refreshing!

Becka mama to Nick 10/99 Michele 02/03 : Wyatt 02/07 and Evan 06/09
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#3 of 38 Old 08-04-2009, 12:48 AM
 
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OH Mama. I have those days. Even though I never thought I'd say this-My son is going to be starting preschool next week. I also have a 13 month old, and living with bipolar is super hard. Please, get some help.. you deserve it. Maybe you could make an appt at the health department with a nurse. Maybe they have some options to help.. I know Walmart has generics for 4 bucks now! The generic Celexa is one of them- it seems to help a lot of people!
Do something for yourself each day.. even if it's sitting outside with a cup of coffee for ten minutes.
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#4 of 38 Old 08-04-2009, 04:21 AM
 
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I am a SAHM to a 18 month old little boy with no one to support me other than my husband, so bear that in mind when reading my suggestion.

I read a book called Raising our children, raising ourselves and she presents some suggestions that really helped me deal with a toddler who won't get into his carseat or who won't do whatever it is that I need him to do at that moment.

It helped me to realise that my frustration was about me and my issues, not about my toddler. Yes, he triggered them in a HUGE way, but in order for me to behave like a responsible adult and not try and force my child I needed to take a step back.

I do not always manage, but when I feel like I am about to explode I am learning to take a deep breath and remind myself that this is not about my toddler being irritating/naughty/disobedient, but rather about me feeling like I am not in control and not getting what I need. If I can stay calm, the situation usually does not escalate and we move on fairly quickly.

Having said all of that, I do believe in boundaries and not negotiating everything with little children. It's just easier for me to do it when I am not angry, bitter, frustrated, annoyed, etc. Those are very real emotions and ignoring them only made me more explosive.

HTH

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#5 of 38 Old 08-04-2009, 06:46 AM
 
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I also recommend Naomi Aldort's book. It really helped me with me, I read it about 3yrs ago. I had already signed on to gentle discipline but this side was difficult for me to get past. I am actually rereading the book atm as I have fallen into some old patterns again. It's been so liberating to know I can do it and know that the relationship with my kids is remaining intact even though the situation itself remains much the same. I find if I take the time to validate and listen to the kids instead of making the issue about *me* I can remove my emotions from the equation and deal with my kids without the harmful mind chatter that triggers me to yell. The book really helps you investigate what your own triggers are.

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#6 of 38 Old 08-04-2009, 09:59 AM
 
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Ok. My DD is only 16 months and I haven't really yelled at her because she can't do anything that would upset me that much yet- but she has gotten on my nerves before. On this forum I kept reading about taking Red #40 out of kids' diets and giving them a high protein breakfast to prevent tantrums. I wondered if that would work on me (I totally have adult tantrums). So I did. Last week I had Red #40 after not having it for a while and boy did I tantrum!
I didn't think it would affect me so much- I figured I'm an adult and can handle myself- well, nope! I wonder if I take gluten out of my diet...

Mommy to DD March 2008, DS July 2010
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#7 of 38 Old 08-04-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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I grew up in a home with a lot of yelling and van feel myself going there with my 2 year old at times. I have taken it out of my resource options. It is simply not an option. I believe it is disrespectful, humiliating and shaming to be yelled at and I wouldn't speak to anyone like that, the last of which would be the one I love most in the world. I remember my reasons why I don't. If I feel my voice raising I lower it as much as I want to raise it until at times I am whispering. It does the trick and usually has a calming effect on my son.
I also say this prayer in my head if I need a moment
"Lord, give me a gentle spirit and the heart of a child...help me to walk at "his" pace and see the world through "his" eyes. Thank you for the gift of motherhood." This always does the trick. I am humbled and can see my little boy just being a little boy through new eyes. Even if your are not religious just redirecting your energy with these words will help.

Good luck mama!
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#8 of 38 Old 08-04-2009, 03:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jennpn View Post
I grew up in a home with a lot of yelling and van feel myself going there with my 2 year old at times. I have taken it out of my resource options. It is simply not an option. I believe it is disrespectful, humiliating and shaming to be yelled at and I wouldn't speak to anyone like that, the last of which would be the one I love most in the world. I remember my reasons why I don't. If I feel my voice raising I lower it as much as I want to raise it until at times I am whispering. It does the trick and usually has a calming effect on my son.
I also say this prayer in my head if I need a moment
"Lord, give me a gentle spirit and the heart of a child...help me to walk at "his" pace and see the world through "his" eyes. Thank you for the gift of motherhood." This always does the trick. I am humbled and can see my little boy just being a little boy through new eyes. Even if your are not religious just redirecting your energy with these words will help.

Good luck mama!
I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for this advice. Before the baby was born (twins and baby are about 1.5 years apart) I never yelled at them. I raised my voice once at my son, but that was it. I was super patient and almost always made an effort to view the world through their eyes. Then came along a baby with several food allergies, colic, middle ear fluid for 6 months that created moderate to severe hearing loss, lots of pain and hours a day of crying for almost a year of her life- I found myself doing everything OPPOSITE of my parenting tenets. Now that she is doing better, thank GOD!, I find myself making more of an effort to stop yelling at the twins. I despise yelling at them. I don't want it an option.

REading your response about not having it an option in parenting changed my perspective. If it's not there as a resource, then there is nothing to reach with regard to yelling, etc.. I very sadly have even hit their hands when I am up to my eyeballs in frustration. Again, things I would have NEVER thought I would do. I need to change things NOW. Thank you again for the post. You really provided some strength and direction to me.
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#9 of 38 Old 08-04-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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I am not proud of this, but I am screaming at my kids and I'm not even sure why. It seems like this happens every now and then, I get in this place where I have zero patience and I snap at them, forgetting that they are kids and they are doing what kids do.
I need some more coping techniques to get me through the day. What do you do or what do you say to yourself in the moment, when they are driving you crazy, to get through it without, you know, causing them to need therapy later in life?
How do you increase your patience level? I mean, I exercise, I have time away from them, I have a great husband who helps a lot when he is not at work, but short of doing vodka shots, how do you get through the day?
I find myself doing the same thing and it's only out of pure frustration - frustration built up after repeatedly asking my son to STOP doing something and him not listening. Are deep breaths and time outs for yourself a good way to handle such situations? It's an ongoing battle. During bathtime, out in public, you name it - it's like he's testing my patience. I've even caught myself talking to myself during a bathtime one night when I thought I was going to lose it. He saw me doing this, got sad and asked what was wrong. He doesn't need to be doing this!! I felt awful, calmed down and explained that mommy was just a little upset when you didn't listen to me....

One happy mama to 1/06 , 3/10 , and married to my best friend
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#10 of 38 Old 08-04-2009, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mommas. Going to go to the library and pick up the Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves book tonight! And thanks for the little prayer, jennpn, i am not a religious person, but this is something i will use.
keep the suggestions coming, moms, this is so, so helpful.
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#11 of 38 Old 08-04-2009, 10:24 PM
 
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I am so glad I could be of help to you! I was caring for three one year old when my newborn son who also had colic and extensive allergies came along. He was up every hour until he was 9 months old during the night and I was beyond exhausted. Only other moms know how meaningless that word really is...it was so much more then that. My nerves were raw and I didn't know if I was coming or going. All I knew is that I had 4 tiny people that needed me very much to be nuturing, calm, loving and patient towards them. This was asking a tremendous amount considering I could barely manage in those days to put my pants on the right way. That is when I re evaliated my goals as a parent and caregiver and my reasoning behind the convictions I had around them. Taking things like physical punishment, shaming, humiliation and yelling completly out of the resource vault helped so much. Even when I felt like screaming along with them I did not becuase that was not an option. I could not go there. I had to find something else. A tantrumming frustrated toddler can be, as I found, more easily calmed with a gentle touch, a warm embrace and a soft word then screaming over top of them...ironic still is that you have lost control by doing this and are trying to get your toddler to succeed at pulling in self control themselves that you as the adult could not.

I read that little prayer on someone's blog who got it from someone else. I am happy to pass it on. Those words empower me, calm me and humble me. I AM so grateful for the gift of motherhood and for these snotty, loud, messy days of childhood that will be gone so quickly. I don't want to have to try to remember them over the yelling.

Good luck with your struggle Momma! You can get back to that place you are looking for!
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#12 of 38 Old 08-05-2009, 10:48 AM
 
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I've found for me the times I've gotten really angry it's helped to say loudly (or even yell): I'm so angry right now! I'm going to go on the porch and calm down!

It makes a huge impression on my son and although occasionally it has been yelling, it hasn't been yelling at him.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#13 of 38 Old 08-05-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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I am a yeller and i am trying to change this. What is working for me right now is when I yell or feel like yelling I take the kids outside for a walk or something. For some reason that seems to break the cycle and gives me a breather. I find for me the yelling stems from frustration, my parents were spankers and when I find myself in a situation where I don't know what to do but spank I yell.
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#14 of 38 Old 08-05-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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often when I lose my patience with my kids it's because I need some quiet time to myself. Sometimes I tell my girls, "Mommy needs a little quiet time." and then think up something else they can be doing while I just sit and take a breather. They are very understanding! Sometimes they'll play quietly, sometimes they'll amuse themselves together (jumping on the bed in the next room, for example!), but even if it makes noise, I'm at least able to sit a minute, close my eyes, and re-focus my energy. And put a smile on my face, even if I'm not feeling it!

Mama to dd born 7/2005, dd born 12/2007 and dd born 11/2009.
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#15 of 38 Old 08-05-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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I've found for me the times I've gotten really angry it's helped to say loudly (or even yell): I'm so angry right now! I'm going to go on the porch and calm down!

It makes a huge impression on my son and although occasionally it has been yelling, it hasn't been yelling at him.

Yep. This. I find that admitting to my emotions is difficult, yet so empowering. We need to model to our children what is and is not appropriate. It isn't appropriate to take out your frustrations on people who are younger and smaller than you are by yelling at them. It is appropriate to remove yourself from the situation until you can calm down.
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#16 of 38 Old 08-05-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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I take a time out when I feel like I'm losing my patience. It works wonders!
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#17 of 38 Old 08-05-2009, 07:13 PM
 
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My trigger is almost always noise. Is there a specific trigger for you? Once I figured that out I could tailor my pro-active strategies much better. Luckily, my kids are old enough that they don't need constant supervision, so when things start getting noisy I can say "Please play outside" or "I am going to go work on the computer" and get things calmed down really quickly. When they were little I almost always decided that was when it was time to go to the park.
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#18 of 38 Old 08-05-2009, 08:00 PM
 
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I'm no help, b/c I was just about to start trying the vodka shots (jk!!) but I wanted to say THANK YOU for starting this thread, and to everyone who has replied with helpful suggestions so far. I'm in the same boat as the OP, and REALLY need to find a way to recognize when my frustration levels are getting too high. Poor DS is so scared when I yell, and at the same time is compelled to repeat the very same actions that prompted the yelling to begin with. Vicious cycle... (And yes, the car seat is one of the hot buttons now! So glad someone mentioned it.)

I'm off to get the book mentioned, too.... Please keep the suggestions coming!
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#19 of 38 Old 08-05-2009, 09:35 PM
 
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I'm in the middle of Scream Free Parenting by Hal something or other and I'm loving it.

He pretty much says that screaming = immaturity. A child should not have the power to push an adult to that point, and it only brings about negative reactions and behavior. We cannot change our children, only ourselves.
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#20 of 38 Old 08-05-2009, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The Naomi Aldort book worked for me today! I got it at the library last night and started reading it this morning. My kids were still sleeping and I had the rare treat of sitting w/ coffee and being able to read the first part of the book. Used it the instant my oldest woke up. He started his grumpy morning screeching thing that he does every day and instead of telling him to be quiet so as not to wake his sibs and him continuing to screech and then me threatening to send him back to his room, I just did the validating thing from the book and he stopped right away.
We had a MUCH MUCH MUCH better day today, and only because I behaved differently.
Evan and Anna's Mom, yes, NOISE, that is a huge trigger for me. My oldest makes constant noises, very loud, loves to do this to get a reaction out of the baby. The baby loves it which only reinforces it. It drives me bonkers and the later in the day that it gets, the less tolerance I have for it.
Dukey, me too. My mom was a spanker and I don't want to hit my kids so I yell instead, but this is not really any better.
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#21 of 38 Old 08-05-2009, 11:36 PM
 
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1. Find out what your triggers are and work on them

2. Practice mindful meditation and practice other techneques for calmness

3. Slow down a lot...walk slower...talk slower...mindful meditation helps with that.

4. Keep careful track of your cycles so that you know your pms time...even if you don't suffer seriously you may be prone to being less patient then(this is the only time I yell..yes, it became that obvious to me)

5. If your trigger is messes...don't have crafts/waterpaints/messy things in the house...take them to other places for that. We do those things outside and we have a regular playgroup for that stuff, we have crayons and markers but if we do that sort of things it's planned and organized. Work with who you are and what your limitations are. (I have a no play dough rule because it always gets stuck in the carpet and I lose it and I figure it's just toxic junk anyway..and I hate the stuff)

6. If your trigger is noise(mine isn't noise so much as sudden noise that startles me) teach your kids inside and outside noise. Also designate an escape area for you to go to when you feel that urge. I go up to the living room and sit. I'm fortunate in that we have the basement as a family area and a quieter upstairs living room.

7. Take regular and scheduled breaks for yourself. Half an hour walk every night. I joined a rowing club and I go once a week, no kids, just me. It's amazing and the thought of that break often gets me through when I'm about to lose it.

8. Sing. I start yelling and then change it to a fake yell and then into a silly song and it cracks the kids up and changes the entire dynamic of the room. It's crazy but somehow it works. Probably like the whispering that someone mentioned above.

Eta...I rarely yell. Because I rarely yell my kids yell less. It has taken work but it was well worth it. I really have a ton more patience. I used to talk about real and fake patience...the fake it til you make it works..because I find that I rarely have to fake patience, I just now am more patient and rarely lose it and yell anymore. In fact I was really angry at my 15 year old for something she did and I was talking about how much I yelled and screamed at her but looking back on her..it really wasnt' yelling or screaming. It was lecturing sternly but it wasn't yelling. And what she did was off the charts crazy dangerous(which is also a trigger for me).
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#22 of 38 Old 08-06-2009, 04:02 AM
 
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The Naomi Aldort book worked for me today! I got it at the library last night and started reading it this morning. My kids were still sleeping and I had the rare treat of sitting w/ coffee and being able to read the first part of the book. Used it the instant my oldest woke up. He started his grumpy morning screeching thing that he does every day and instead of telling him to be quiet so as not to wake his sibs and him continuing to screech and then me threatening to send him back to his room, I just did the validating thing from the book and he stopped right away.
We had a MUCH MUCH MUCH better day today, and only because I behaved differently.
Mama, that is so awesome. :::

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
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#23 of 38 Old 08-06-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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I'm in the middle of Scream Free Parenting by Hal something or other and I'm loving it.

He pretty much says that screaming = immaturity. A child should not have the power to push an adult to that point, and it only brings about negative reactions and behavior. We cannot change our children, only ourselves.
I'm gonna check that book out. Thanks for sharing, Sancta!

One happy mama to 1/06 , 3/10 , and married to my best friend
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#24 of 38 Old 08-06-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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Thanks for the rec for Scream Free Parenting. After reading the reviews on Amazon, I downloaded the Kindle version and hope to start it tonight.

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#25 of 38 Old 08-07-2009, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm gonna try to get that book, too. Sounds good.
Been having a much better few days but started out today not so good so thought i'd post about it here as a way to try to get myself back on track today. The 5 yr. old had a screaming, kicking all out fit because he spilled some dry cereal on the floor. No big deal, me and the 3 yr. old both start helping him clean it up, he starts to clean up, then knocks the cup over and some of the cereal spills again and he screams, LOUD, right in my ear and I lost it. Noise is, apparently, one of my big triggers. I yelled at him, told him to stop acting like a baby and leave the room. Then both kids start fighting over a piece of paper, one of those little card ads that pulls out of magazines. This is all while I am trying to get ready and they are being so loud and I don't want them to wake the baby up.
Okay, gonna try to get back on track here today and not yell. Ok, crap, the 3 year old just came over and scratched me. But I didn't yell. I think she was trying to tickle in her not-so-gentle way.
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#26 of 38 Old 03-15-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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Thank you for the incredibly helpful suggestions. 

 

I've realized finally that my biggest trigger is my nearly-subconscious worry about what other people might think. 

 

Example:  this morning, I blew my stack because my 3 year old was noodling around not getting dressed for preschool and we were going to be late for about the 15th time in a row. 

 

After it all blew over, I realized that right before I yelled, my thoughts flashed to my kid's annoying preschool teacher.  She's someone who just doesn't understand the life of a working parent, so she sneers when we show up late.  I felt a tiny wave of shame thinking about how we'd be judged by this preschool teacher, and I just snapped.

 

So I'm working hard on that - not letting other people's expectations rule me (or my imagining of their expectations). 

 

I've also started marking the calendar every month. Around 10 days after my period, I start getting WAY less patient (with the pinnacle of grumpiness around 17-20 past my period), so I'm trying to do more yoga and take better care of myself for the last half of the month.

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#27 of 38 Old 03-16-2012, 04:30 PM
 
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i'm working on this too!  here are a couple quick meditations/thoughts from buddhism that i'm finding helpful in the moment:

 

breathing in, i am calm; breathing out i smile

great for those little irritations that can really get to me

 

breathing in, i am angry; breathing out, i know anger is in me

for those bigger moments.  even that tiny shift from "i am angry" to "there is anger in me" (ie, there is a self and there is the anger, two separate things) is way more effective than i thought

 

 

question:  how do you all make a time out for yourself not a punishment/withdrawl from your kids?  when i try to leave, my 3yr old usually runs after me and/or grabs on to me ... and i do not handle that very well, or even if i do ok, he's usually very upset at my leaving.

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#28 of 38 Old 03-17-2012, 01:37 PM
 
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I am a yeller and i am trying to change this. What is working for me right now is when I yell or feel like yelling I take the kids outside for a walk or something. For some reason that seems to break the cycle and gives me a breather. I find for me the yelling stems from frustration, my parents were spankers and when I find myself in a situation where I don't know what to do but spank I yell.

I find that when we're spiraling into a negative dynamic leaving the house to "reset" really works. Doesn't matter what we do - a walk, trip to the store for milk - just getting out of the house brightens everyone's mood.
I do tell my kids that I'm feeling frustrated - both of my kids learned that word pretty quickly - and that I need a short break. I'll stay in the same room, or, go into my room & read or rest. Now that they're older, I also suggest, when appropriate, that they might be feeling frustrated or grumpy & that they might benefit from a break.
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#29 of 38 Old 03-21-2012, 05:34 AM
 
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Hi there, I just wanted to give you a virtual hug. I have been through screaming bouts several times with my kids and I hate the way that I feel when it is happening and afterward. To me it feels hard to get out of but so wrong.

 

I have found apologising and hugging helps me get out of it. It gets me down to the children's level. The compassionate moments wake me up out of my funk a bit.

 

I also really like Rescue Remedy. I start taking double doses every ten minutes until it starts to work.

 

We don't watch much tv, but if I am having a particularly rough time I throw it on and take some quiet time to nap/read/drink tea/take a warm bath/revitalise my mood. It is better for them than my mood, so I find it to be the perfect time to plug it in.

 

Let yourself cry. Vent to a friend or sister. You are feeling stress and it is probably beyond what your kids are doing.

 

I understand this sort of thing so well.

 

Hugs.


Joyful mama of 3.
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#30 of 38 Old 03-29-2012, 05:14 PM
 
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I have a high needs 16 month old, and probably a few times a week I feel the urge to yell at him bubble up.  He's totally in that stage where he is incredibly frustrated by his own limitations - will be hellbent on doing something that he physically isn't capable of doing, and also seems to zero in on the ONE thing that he shouldn't do.

 

I'm a really, really, really patient person.  If a friend were to describe me, the first adjective they'd come up with would be that I'm laid back.  I roll with the punches very easily.  Messes don't bother me, I don't lose my temper EVER.  But kids, man.  He can drive me right up to that edge where I HAVE to vent in some way or I'm going to take it out on him unfairly.

 

Rescue Remedy helps (for both of us, they make a kids version).  A trick  my mom said she used to do with us - really, really loudly sing, "I LOOOOVE MY CHIIIILD!"  in a crazy opera voice.  It helps me vent  and be loud without yelling and also usually snaps him out of the tantrum, at least for a second.  Similarly...ever seen Garden State?  You know when Natalie Portman's character does the "unique" thing?  I do that.  Spew total gibberish and dance around like a crazy person for a second.  Sometimes we go outside and throw something (beanbags usually).  Careful not to throw AT something, though.  

 

I also reassure myself that every time I'm able to cope with being angry in a healthy way, I'm teaching him how to do it as well.




Living and loving in ATX with DH (of 7 years) and DS (3.5)
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